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7 Clever Ways to Recycle Used Tea Bags

For most of us, a tea bag is a single-use item isn’t it? We make our delicious cup or pot of tea and the bags, shrivelled, damp and useless are thrown away. Unless you can think of something else to do with them that is!

You’ve probably heard about the old beauty trick where a cold, used tea bag is placed on tired eyes to help tighten up the delicate skin around your eyes right? Well there are a lot more brilliant uses for spent tea bags than that…so read on and learn more about how to make the most of your favourite tea bags.

  • Improving your garden: Did you know that if you save up your used bags until you have a good amount of them and then add them to a bucket of hot water, the resulting weak tea is a marvel at keeping fungal infections away from your plants? It’s also full of nutrients which your plants will love. So save up those bags, brew up a weak tea, cool it down and then offer your garden a refreshing drink!
  • Flavouring cooking: Teas such as Jasmine and Green Tea are wonderful for enhancing the flavour of your cooking…especially where rice is concerned. Simply pop a used bag into the water you’re boiling for your cooking then remove before adding the rice. The delicate flavour will subtly enhance your meal.
  • Freshen up your carpets: Before the days of vacuum cleaners or carpet shampooers, housemaids would hoard tea leaves to aid in the cleaning of the floor coverings in large houses. Save your used tea bags in an airtight container in the fridge; when you have enough, open up the bags and let the leaves dry out a little. Sprinkle liberally over the carpet, leave them in place overnight and then vacuum them up. Your carpets will be visibly cleaner and smell sweeter!
  • Natural air freshener: Tea bags make wonderful odour neutralizers and you can add them directly to your cat’s litter, to your dustbin and to the fridge where they will literally absorb nasty smells.
  • Deter mice: If you believe any one of the many children’s story books illustrating mice enjoying cups of tea and slices of cake, then you’re sorely mistaken. Mice hate tea. They like cake…but tea? They won’t go near it if they can help it so if you think that you may have a little rodent issue at home, sprinkle some dried tea leaves from used bags liberally in the area and they’ll hesitate before coming back.
  • Hair conditioner: Tea makes excellent hair conditioner and you don’t even need to use a fresh bag! Save up a few bags and brew a weak mixture. Use this in your final rinse after shampooing and you will notice a real improvement in shine.
  • Glass cleaner: That’s right, you can even use tea as a window cleaner! You only need a weak mixture to really clean windows to their full shine. Polish with a cotton cloth after cleaning to maximise shine.

With so many genuinely useful uses for used tea bags, we’re certain you might think twice before composting your next tea bag!